Although momentum for a federal paid sick leave requirement is growing, there are currently only a few states, sometimes limited to specific cities within these states, in which employers are required to provide paid sick leave to qualified individuals. These areas are:
- Emeryville, California
- Oakland, California
- San Francisco, California
- Duluth, Minnesota
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Portland, Oregon
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Jersey cities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton
- Jersey City, New Jersey
- Seattle, Washington
- Tacoma, Washington
- New York, New York
- Montgomery County, Maryland
As of July 1, 2017, Arizona employees gain eligibility or accrue hours for paid sick leave. The Fair Wages and Health Families Act mandates that full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees be granted paid sick leave. Workers will earn one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with 15 or fewer employees must provide 24 hours of paid sick leave each year. Those with more than 15 employees must provide 40 hours each year.
Paid time off may be used for medical care related to mental or physical illnesses, injuries, and health conditions. It may also be granted to those caring for ill family members, who are defined by the law to be blood-related. An array of other health-related conditions and related court appearances are covered as well.
If time is not used, sick leave can be cashed out or rolled over at the employer’s discretion. Only 40 hours per week are required. This does not apply to employees who are let go.
In California, a state law mandating paid sick leave fully went into effect on July 1, 2015. This new law provides employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment with paid sick leave. Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days. However, this law will not apply to employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services providers, and certain employees of air carriers.
Effective July 1, 2015, Emeryville’s city ordinance requires paid sick leave for most employees working within the city limits. Employees of small businesses (55 or fewer employees) may accrue 48 hours of paid sick leave a year, and employees of large businesses (56 or more employees) may accrue up to 72 hours a year. Employees may use the paid sick leave to care for their own illness or condition, a family member’s illness or condition, or their designated individual. Additionally, the employee can use this leave to care for a service dog.
Oakland employees accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every hours worked. Small businesses (fewer than ten employees) may cap accrued sick leave at forty hours, and all other businesses may cap accrued sick leave at seventy-two hours. Employees may use their leave to care for themselves or an immediate or extended family member. Additionally, employees who do not have a spouse or registered domestic partner are given a ten day designation period after accruing the first hour of sick leave in order to designate an individual they would like to be covered under this policy.
San Francisco, California
Under the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, employers must provide paid sick leave to every employee who performs work either full or part-time in San Francisco. Paid sick time begins to accrue 90 days after the employee’s first day of work. Employees earn 1 hours of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Sick leave is calculated in hour-unit increments, not in fractions of an hour. For employers with less than 10 employees, the required paid sick leave is capped at 40 hours. For employers with 10 or more employees, paid sick leave is capped at 72 hours. Sick leave time earned does not expire and carries over to the next year. However, an employee can use as many sick leave hours in one year as they wish, so long as they have not reached the total cap. Sick leave can be taken for illness, injury or to seek medical treatment or diagnosis for the employee, a family member or other designated person. If the employee does not have a spouse or registered domestic partner, they may designate one person. An employee may change the designated person once per year within 10 days from when sick leave begins to accrue.
In Connecticut, employers who employ 50 or more people in any one quarter of the previous year must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked by a service worker up to 40 hours per year. Part-time employees are covered by this law. The sick leave only accrues with actual hours worked (sick or other leave and vacation time are not included). Employees can carry over up to 40 unused accrued sick leave hours to the next year, but no employee can use more than 40 hours in any calendar year. Non-profit and certain other employers are except from this law. For a list of exempt employers and list of all individuals who are considered service workers go to the Connecticut Department of Labor.
Effective July 15, 2015, Massachusetts employers with more than 10 employees must provide 1 hour of guaranteed sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, a spouse, a child, or a parent. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are not required to provide paid sick leave, but they must provide unpaid sick leave under the same circumstances.
Effective March 29, 2019, Michigan’s new Paid Medical Leave Act will be in effect. According to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked and up to 40 hours per year. Employers are allowed to limit an employee's time to one hour per week. In addition, employees are allowed to provide all 40 hours to sick leave at the start of a benefit year to avoid carry-over into the next. For new employees, time will begin to accrue on the effective date or date of hire, but an employer can choose to withhold paid leave until the person has reached 90 days.
On May 31, 2018, Duluth enacted the Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which will impose paid sick leave obligations on employers beginning on January 1, 2020. The law will require employers with five or more employees, which is measured by averaging the number of employees per week during the previous calendar year regardless of whether they work in Duluth, must provide paid sick and safe time (“PSST”) to their Duluth employees. The law will also require that employees must accrue PSST at least as fast as one hour of earned PSST for every 50 hours worked, up to 64 hours per year. Employers can limit employees’ use of PSST to 40 hours per year.
On May 27, 2016 the Minneapolis, MN city council unanimously passed a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance. The ordinance requires employers to provide employees who work more than 80 hours a year with “one (1) hour of sick and safe time for every thirty (30) hours worked up to a maximum of forty-eight (48) hours in a … year.” Employees may use the leave for their own, or a family member’s, needs related to health, domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and school, daycare, and workplace closings. The ordinance also requires employers to track the accrual and use of leave time.
In 2018, Minneapolis amended the ordinance so that sick and safe time would accrue only when an employee works “within the geographic boundaries of the City” and leave time could be used only “when the employee is scheduled to perform work within the geographic boundaries of the City.”
St. Paul, Minnesota
On January 1, 2018 all Saint Paul employers with employees working in Saint Paul must provide Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) to their employees. Saint Paul’s Ordinance requires employers to provide earned safe and sick time for workers in Saint Paul and, similar to Minneapolis, is one of the most generous paid sick leave laws in the country. Some of the primary requirements imposed by the Ordinance include:
- Employers with one or more eligible employees must provide earned sick and safe time to their Saint Paul employees. Unlike the Sick and Safe Time Ordinance passed in Minneapolis, the Saint Paul Ordinance requires even “micro” businesses, i.e., those with fewer than six employees, to provide paid sick time benefits.
- Employers must comply with both “annual” and “point in time” earned sick and safe time accrual caps (48 hours and 80 hours respectively), and accrued but unused paid sick and safe time must carryover from one year to the next. However, the Ordinance explicitly includes a carve out for employers who provide covered employees with a lump sum grant of 48 hours in their first year of employment and 80 hours in each subsequent year.
- The law is silent on the amount of earned sick and safe time employees can use per year, meaning there appears to be no cap, unlike what many other paid sick leave laws include related to annual usage.
- Covered family members include “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
- Upon employee request, employers must provide employees with information containing the employee's then-current amount of accrued and used earned sick and safe time.
In Oregon, a state law mandating paid sick leave wentwill go into effect on January 1, 2016. This new law requireswill require most employers with 10 employees or more to provide employees with 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to 40 hours a year. It will also requiresrequire employers with fewer than 10 employees to provide up to 40 hours a year of unpaid sick leave. Employees can use this time if they are ill, injured, or need to attend to a medical condition for themselves, or a family member (as defined by OFLA- the Oregon Family Leave Act); for any purposes allowed under OFLA; for any purpose under the Oregon domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking law; or in the event of a public health emergency or event where the employer excludes the employee from the workplace for health reasons.
In Portland, an employer must provide full-time, part-time and temporary employees to accrue 1 hour of protected sick time for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per week. For employers with more than 5 employees, this sick time must be paid. For employers with 5 or fewer employees, the sick time must accrue but does not have to be paid. Sick time can be used to cover all or part of a shift. It can be used for to care for health issues of the employer or a family member or domestic and sexual violence issues for the employee or their family members.
District of Columbia
In. D.C., certain employees qualify for paid sick leave. To qualify, the employee must have worked for the employer for 1 year without a break in service, not including regular holiday, sick or personal leave granted by the employer, and has worked at least 1000 hours immediately preceding the requested sick leave. This law specifically excludes independent contractors, students, health care workers participating in a premium pay program, and wait staff and bartenders who work for a combination of wages and tips. Employers with 100 or more employees must provide eligible employees 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 37 hours worked, not to exceed 7 days per year. Employers with 25-99 employees must give employees 1 hour paid sick leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days a year. Employees with less than 25 employees must provide 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked, not to exceed 3 days per year. The sick leave can be used for physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition, or to obtain medical diagnosis or preventative care for the employee, their child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or other family member. This can also be used for services related to stalking, domestic violence or sexual abuse for any of those individuals. Under this law, a family member includes parents, parents-in-law, foster and grandchildren, children’s spouses, siblings, siblings’ spouses and any person who has shared a residence and committed relationship with the employee for the preceding 12 months or more.
On,February 3, 2016, the Vermont Senate passed a bill requiring most employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. After consolidating this version of the bill with a similar version passed by the House, Vermont Governor Shumlin signed the legislation into law on March 9th, 2016, making Vermont the fifth state to implement a paid sick leave law. Employees (who work for employers who employ five or more people) will accrue one hour of paid time off for every 52 hours worked. Additionally, the bill provides a compliance grace period for new businesses. Employers may limit accrual of sick days, but must allow accrual up to at least three paid sick days per year in the first two years, and five paid sick days per year after that. In addition to a small business exception, the paid sick leave requirement will not apply to federal employees, employees under 18, temporary workers scheduled to work up to 20 weeks, and certain state, school, and healthcare employees. For a more detailed description of these exceptions see § 481(5) of the bill. The full text of the bill can be found at the Vermont legislature website.
Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law entitles employees to accrue 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. The law permits that employers employ other policies that provide for additional leave time.
New Jersey cities of Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Montclair, Newark, Passaic, Patterson, and Trenton
All private sector workers employed in these cities are entitled to paid sick leave. Those employees who are covered by law will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked. Generally, employers with fewer than 10 employees may cap accrued sick leave at 24 hours per year, and employers with 10 or more employees may cap accrued sick leave at 40 hours per year. However, child care workers, home health care workers, and food service workers can only be capped at 40 hours per year regardless of their employer’s size. Covered employees may use their accrued leave for their own illness or condition, for a family member’s, or in the case of a public health emergency.
Jersey City, New Jersey
In Jersey City, private sector employees who work for employers with more than 10 employees earn 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per year. Employers with less than 10 employees are not required to provide paid sick leave, but must allow employees to earn 1 hour of unpaid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours a year. The right to sick leave is not affected by whether an employer works full or part-time. However, this law does not affect collective bargaining agreements.
Effective January 1, 2018, Washington employers must provide all employees with paid sick leave. Under the law employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation. Leave may be used no sooner than the employees 90th calendar day after the start of their employment. When sick time is not used, no more than 40 hours may be carried over into the following year. Employers may however provide employees with more generous carry over and accrual policies.
Effective January 1, 2018, under Tacoma’s Paid Sick Leave, workersworker in Tacoma, Washington are eligible for sick leave 90 days after hire. Under the law employees must accrue paid sick leave at a minimum rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked. When sick time is not used, no more than 40 hours may be carried over into the following year. For absences exceeding three days, employers may require documentation to show that the leave was for an authorized purpose.
New York, New York
Effective May 5, 2018, under New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law), Effective May 5, 2018, New York City employers with 5 or more employers must provide employees paid sick leave. New York City’s sick leave law was recently expanded to include siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, children and parents of the employee. Employees and may accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked, and may accrue up to 40 sick hours per year. Paid sick leave must be paid to employees at their normal hourly compensation. Leave may be used no sooner than the employees 120th calendar day after the start of their employment.
Effective September 11, 2017, New York first responders and other state employees who developed health conditions after working at the World Trade Center site following 9/11 terror attacks are entitled to unlimited sick leave at 100% of their regular salary.
Effective February 11, 2018, Maryland Healthy Working Families Act requires employers with 15 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of earned, paid sick and safe leave. Employers may offer leave accrual of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked or may offer the entire 40 hours of leave at the beginning of the year. Employers with 14 or fewer employees must offer unpaid sick and safe leave. Employees may carry over up to 40 hours of leave per year under the law. Employers may cap the use of paid leave at 64 hours per year and may also cap the accrual of leave at 64 hours total and 40 hours per year.
Under the new law leave must be offered for the following reasons:
- to care for the physical or mental health of the employee or a family member;
- to take maternity or paternity leave; or
- to obtain relief in response to a domestic or sexual assault of the employee or a family member.
Maryland's new law does not apply to employees who:
- Regularly work fewer than 12 hours a week;
- Are under the age of 18;
- Are independent contractors;
- Work in the agricultural sector on an agricultural operation; or
- Work on an as-needed basis in the health or human services industry.
There are additional exceptions for parties to collective bargaining agreements. This law preempts any local paid sick leave law passed from January 1, 2017 forward. The result is that Montgomery County's law, with more requirements for employers, remains in force. The text of the law can be found at the Maryland General Assembly website.
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County’s Earned Sick and Safe Law went into effect on Oct.1, 2016. It will require most employers in the County to provide earned sick and safe leave to employees for work performed in the County.
The intent of the law is to provide employees with paid leave or time off to take care of things such as sickness, family illnesses or domestic violence. It helps to ensure that workers do not have to make a choice between keeping a job and going to work sick or not being able to have time to find a safe living environment. The bill is expected to provide support to our lowest income and most vulnerable workers.
The legislation requires employers to provide earned sick and safe leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours an employee works in the County up to 56 hours in a calendar year. To help small businesses, an employer with fewer than five employees would have to provide an employee with up to 32 hours of paid sick and safe leave per year plus an additional 24 hours of unpaid sick and safe leave. Many County employers already meet or exceed the benefits required by the new law and are unaffected by the new law.
Employers are required to give employees written notice that they are entitled to earned sick and safe leave under the new law. The notice must include a statement of how sick and safe leave is accrued, the permitted uses of earned sick and safe leave, a statement that the employer must not retaliate against an employee for exercising the rights established by the law.